You know, I may have already used this title for another post. I’m about 59% sure that perhaps I have. But as I thought about it, I decided that I was OK with that, because this post really is all about updates. I mean, I guess most of these posts are, but let’s not get technical here. In fact, let’s just get to the updates shall we?
On My Hands
It’s been awhile since I offered an update on my hands. Part of that is because I didn’t really have anything to update. After my last appointment with my Rhuematologist (who is still lackluster) I learned a few things: apparently it takes her 3 months to get certain blood work back since that’s how long it was from the time she told me “odd, I don’t have those tests yet”, my white blood cell count has been high for months – which is apparently unusual, and worthy of her advising me to see my PCP – but my “strange cells” are fine, so it’s not cancer or anything (hey, that’s great! /sarcasm), and she doesn’t read through reports from other doctors that she sends me off to for tests. Lovely, right?
So, when this last visit came around and my doctor said “I don’t know what’s wrong or what’s going on”, I broached the topic of doing the physical therapy that the doctor who did my nerve conduction study indicated she was going to list as “suggested” treatment in her report to my doctor. And thus I was referred to a therapist who specializes in hands – and I suppose I should be fortunate that we have a specialist locally (thanks Microsoft!). I’ve been going roughly three weeks now, twice a week. And…it’s been helping!
FINALLY SOMETHING THAT IS WORKING!
I really like the therapist that I’ve been working with. A lot. Because I had very specific and localized pain, she surmised that her best guess was that I’d damaged the tendons connecting my knuckles…in both hands. This is apparently a unique and somewhat uncommon injury, and it is rare to have it occur in both hands. Unless you are a pianist. Then it is somewhat common. But since I’m not a pianist, it left her scratching her head. Now, she can’t diagnose, but she’s treating the symptoms and it’s working. I also have these weird gloves that I’m supposed to wear when I sleep and while I’m on the computer which are also working very well.
You have no idea how happy this makes me! My hands are still nowhere near 100% and do still bother me a bit, but I am finally seeing progress and having less pain. I can actually move my fingers without having them pop more often than not and they don’t hurt so much just doing basic things like typing. I’m still limiting my computer time to try and help the recovery – but for the first time since this whole ordeal started, I’m optimistic.
I am still plugging away at Dragon Soul. We are currently working on Heroic Spine and seeing solid progress with the fight in the two nights we’ve worked on it. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the encounter – it’s incredibly long and frankly fairly boring (and I’m not one to think many fights are dull). When push comes to shove the fight is basically a 12-15 minute DPS check. There are some stressful healing moments, but in the end, it’s really all about the DPS and how much burst they can do for the 18 seconds they have access to the tendons. Of all of the encounters in Dragon Soul that I’ve experienced so far, I think this one is my least favorite as well as the least dynamic.
On The Guild Situation
I haven’t really talked about it much since my last post on it. In fact, I’ve been avoiding talking about it quite a bit. A large part of that was because I was doing some serious soul searching trying to decide what I wanted to do – and trying to come to that decision consumed me for more than a month as I went back and forth. I reached out and leaned on some friends, who offered me some wonderful advice and were a much needed shoulder to lean on (you guys know who you are, and I can’t thank you enough for everything).
The Cliff’s Notes version is a few things changed and I made the decision to stick it out. I had put too much into the guild, and loved it (and many of the people) too much, to just walk away. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made in WoW and something I struggled with more than I can say. However, we moved to a three night raid week, which helped so many things for me personally – and which has worked well for us as a guild as we’ve continued to have steady progression on the shorter raid week. I have also made a concerted effort not to let people push my buttons. It’s an ongoing effort, and sometimes I fail at it (I mean, let’s be realistic, sometimes it’s damn hard to be the better person), but for the most part just realizing that it’s not worth directing energy at it, and it’s not worth my time, has returned some of my enjoyment back to the game for me. I’ve also consciously limited my exposure to some of the more toxic and volatile things that were really dragging on me - an effort which has been facilitated by giving my hands extra time to rest as well.
Overall, things have been mostly good. Not great. But solidly good. And like my hands, I’m optimistic for the first time in quite awhile and largely enjoying myself again. I’ve also received some ongoing encouragement from friends that has helped to keep me looking forward and reminded me what it is about this game that makes it worth the investment. You guys are way better than any legendary or internet dragon that I might slay.
While I was doing all of this soul searching, I tackled another question that has been in the back of my mind for months that I’d been largely ignoring: do I want to continue into Mists? There was uncertainty, and that uncertainty was exacerbated by the struggles with the guild. But just recently, and after a lot of discussion with Brade, I have decided that I am going to continue to play. Once I made that decision, I could finally start looking forward into the expansion and making plans. As such, I have a wish list of my own that I’ll probably post up at some point.
On My Guide Videos
I haven’t posted one in…a long time. I’ve had Hagara video since before Christmas and Ultraxion video for almost a month (I keep forgetting to get Blackhorn video, but we are going into our third kill). Do I intend to continue them? I really do. I’ve gotten such positive feedback from them, and it’s proven to be an extremely rewarding experience for me (aside from the “omg your voice” or the occasional asshat feedback on Youtube). I’ve just been spending so much time trying to put my feet back under me and stepping back that somehow this thing that I’ve really enjoyed has fallen a bit by the wayside.
My intention is to continue to put guides up, but I am making no promises as I’m in a bit of a weird place right now. Please understand if they aren’t going up that it’s not because I’ve lost interest in doing them, I just….haven’t gotten them done. I will try to get an Ultraxion one done soon-ish, maybe. That being said, if you have questions on any of the encounters, feel free to shoot me an email and I’m happy to give you my thoughts on them in that venue.
On What I’m Doing With All That Time
Well, like I said earlier, I’m trying to give my hands the chance to recover with the PT – but I’m also making a concerted effort to limit myself to other things. Those two things means that I’m playing quite a bit less these days. Which has been good for me. I miss doing things with my alts – but I’ve been enjoying the time away from the computer tremendously as well.
I’ve been slowly working my way through the AFI Top 100 list, which has been on my list of “things to do” for years. I’ve recently been on a mob movie kick and watched The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. Both were amazing films, despite their length, and I’d recommend them to anyone looking for a good movie. I also just watched Hitchcock’s Vertigo – and let me tell you, they don’t make mysteries like that anymore! I was a little surprised how much I enjoyed it (despite the fact that I had to yo-yo the volume based on if there was talking or not).
We subscribed to Netflix…even though I swore I would never. And I have tons of things in my instant queue (ok…tons is like 23 titles, but whatever!). I also have Goodfellas and Raging Bull waiting on my shelf at home to be viewed. The whole project has been really great so far and has given me something to occupy myself with while relaxing my hands and going through my PT exercises.
I’m also enjoying some of the extra down time to keep up with some of the additional TV shows I’ve picked up (all I can say is thank god for On Demand!). I’ve started watching Smash, which I absolutely love, as well as Alcatraz, which I’m enjoying quite a bit as well. Brade isn’t really into those two, but it’s nice to have something to keep me busy while he putzes around on the computer – and I’m sitting there trying not to do anything with my hands!
I’ve also been doing more cooking. In fact, I’m making a delicious pot pie tonight. Now that I’ve got a little more time (and am allocating some of that time to preparing proper meals) it’s been nice to get back into the kitchen and cook actual dinner meals. But even better than that is not having to plan three meals a week that can be cooked and consumed while sitting in front of the computer raiding. It seems like such a small thing – but it’s made such a world of difference.
I’ve also been spending some time with the 3DS that Brade picked up at the end of the year. I’ve been working through Mario 3D…and have been having a blast (usually…sometimes there might be swearing involved!). I’ve also picked up a couple of other DS games to queue up when I’m finished with Mario. I’ve found that the DS hasn’t given my hands near as much trouble as the computer has – and it’s something I can do with my special gloves on. So it’s a nice diversion when I can’t watch anymore movies/TV due to fear of my brain rotting and running out of my ears from lack of stimulation.
Good Lord! I guess I had a lot of things to say. Perhaps this could have been two update posts. Alas, it’s one somewhat epic update post. I’d love to know what everyone has been up to. Have any good games to recommend? Any good movies to watch?